WARSAW — The evening went from bad to worse Friday for Concord's softball team against Northridge in the Class 4A Sectional Championship game at Warsaw High School.
The Minutemen made three errors before recording an out in the first inning and couldn't contain the Raider bats in the third, as Northridge rolled past Concord, 13-0.
The Raiders (22-6) advance to host Penn or Mishawaka in a regional championship contest Tuesday at 6 p.m. Penn and Mishawaka are schedule to play for a sectional title today at noon.
"This means a lot," said Northridge coach Ray Caples about winning the sectional title. "It's proof of everything we've said at the beginning of the year. We told the girls early on that we felt we were the team to beat at this sectional."
Northridge was motivated by a 13-5 loss to Concord during the regular season and a 6-4 sectional semifinal loss to the Minutemen in sectional semifinal action last year.
"This was kind of a revenge game," Caples said. "Our girls were looking for some revenge tonight for sure."
Concord's sloppy play in the first inning helped Northridge get off to a great start on Friday.
The Raiders scored three runs in the first, but only one of the runs were earned, as Northridge took advantage of three Minutmen errors.
Madison Wienert began the game with a single and went to second on an error. Wienert scored after an error was committed on Jenifer Robinson's bunt. An error on Meghan Bontrager bunt single scored another run and a sacrifice fly from Allison Hostetler scored the third run.
"Literally, the wheels fell off," said Concord coach Dawn Austin. "We made a couple of really silly mistakes."
Northridge busted the game open by scoring nine runs on seven hits in the third inning. Robinson hit a three-run homer, Rachael Kelley added a two-run homer and Ashley Becker hit a solo homer.
"In our (sectional semifinal) game against Memorial (a 5-3 win) our bats struggled," Caples said. "Tonight, we didn't struggle with our bats. There was no letdown tonight. Our girls were on from the beginning to the end tonight. They did a good job."
It was the fifth homer of the year for Beckler, who finished with three hits and two RBIs.
"I knew my first at-bat wasn't my best and I just wanted to come back and make solid contact," said Beckler about her mindset when she came to the plate in the third.
"We had to fight really hard (for the sectional championship). We prepared well during practice. This feels great."
On mound, Robinson and Makena Knepp allowed only three hits and walked three.
The loss affected Austin, who got emotional after the game.
"It's just tough," Austin said. "It's really a crappy way to go out when you have eight seniors that have really put everything out on the line."
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL
NORTHRIDGE 13, CONCORD 0
Northridge`309`10` - 13`13`0
Concord`000`00` - 0`3`4
Jenifer Robinson (W), Makena Knepp (4); Alexis Kern (L), Emily Bradshaw (3).
Northidge: Hits – Madison Wienert 3, Ashley Beckler 3. HR – Beckler, Rachael Kelley, Robinson. 2B – Wienert. RBI – Robinson 4, Beckler 2, Kelley 2. Runs – Wienert 2, Bontrager 2, Beckler 2, Sam Mathews 2.
Records: Northridge 22-6, Concord 23-5.